The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and I, or imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.
Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.
But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?
One of the first books of 2017, or started in 2016 and than finished in 2017 so it counts. Also a good that I wanted to finally in 2017, and it didn’t disappoint.
I really like alternative historical fiction because it asks the “What if” questions in history. With this book it is “what if the Axis powers own WWII?” it reminded me a lot of Man in the High Castle, which is a show that I really like as well, which is also set in a world in which the Axis powers won WWII.
Yael, is a great female protagonist in the book. She reminded me a lot of Katniss with a little bit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She is a go getter who is willing to risk everything in order to achieve her mission which is to kill Hitler. I also like how the use of flashbacks added a lot more to her character and gave her more depth. You really see what she went through before she entered the race. She is also a shape shiftier and could change into any person she wants to, which is why she does the job of entering the race under another name.
The world-building is great, it really does a good job setting up a world in which the Axis powers won, and how it affects the characters of the world. The author did a great job setting up the what if story and providing details. She also did a good job at setting up the race and the rules of the race, and why Yael must enter and win the race. The race scenes in the book was also very engaging and did a good job at keeping the suspense throughout the book, and plot took a lot of twist and turns especially for a very simple plot.
The supporting characters are also great and well developed such as Felix, her “brother” who is also in the race. He is basically Yael’s emotional support and you get a pick at their relationship even though Yael is playing someone else she still tries to have that relationship with Felix. Another is Luka, who is a rival racer. Even though you kinda see where his character is going in terms of arcs, but he was a good character overall and I actually did like their relationship even though at points it was going to be a little predictable.
I also felt if I were to point out a negative it would be mainly the ending and how it ended kinda on a cliff hangar. I know a sequel has already been released, but my problem with the ending was that it had a a lot of loose ends that needed to be tied up and I hope the sequel does that.
In the end, Wolf-by-Wolf does an amazing job with giving us an alternate view of the world in which the Axis powers rule. It had great and engaging characters, with a great story in which you want to see what happens next.